Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Oldest Surface On Earth Discovered

This natural "desert pavement" in Israel's Negev Desert has been dated to about 1.8 million years old, the olest known vast expanse of surface area on the planet. Credit: Ari Matmon, Hebrew University

From Live Science:

Earth's surface is mostly fresh in geologic terms.

Weathering — wind and water, freezing and thawing — takes its toll, and longer-term changes caused by volcanic activity and sliding crustal plates, known as tectonic activity, fold today's ground into tomorrow's interior.

The constant makeover of the planet is typically fastest in the mountains, slower in the tectonically inactive deserts.

A new study of ancient "desert pavement" in Israel's Negev Desert finds a vast region that's been sitting there exposed, pretty much as-is, for about 1.8 million years, according to Ari Matmon and colleagues at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Read more ....

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